Today The Fix adds five new insider reviews of addiction treatment facilities to its Rehab Review—the only resource of its kind for unbiased, independent information about the best place for you or a loved one to get sober. New rehabs covered are Michael's House, a Foundations Recovery Network facility in Palm Springs, Calif.; Sure Haven, a women-only rehab in Costa Mesa, Calif.; Recovery Road, a men-only center in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.; The Retreat, an affordable rehab just west of Minneapolis; and New Method Wellness, a gender-segregated facility in San Juan Capistrano, Calif.
Reports from former residents at each of these rehabs are for the most part positive; all five of the facilities received either three or four stars overall. Really, though, what it comes down to is which place is best suited for you. The Retreat—befitting its name—is on the site of a former Catholic retreat, and places an emphasis on volunteer-driven recovery. If you want to get plugged into a vibrant sober community from day one, The Retreat is a good option. Then there's a pair of female- and male-only rehabs—Sure Haven and Recovery Road, respectively—if you're of the mind that getting sober in a same-sex environment would be beneficial. Michael's House, meanwhile, is big on parent company Foundations Recovery Network's "Integrated Treatment Model" approach, which has been shown to generate higher success rates for dual-diagnosis clients. And finally, while New Method Wellness is a 12-step-based program, those who are opposed to AA can opt to do SMART Recovery instead.
If you'd like to contribute to our Rehab Review, you can fill out a quick survey about your treatment experience here. Or, if you want to suggest a facility that The Fix should add to its coverage, feel free to send us an email.
Despite controversy surrounding a recent anti-smoking campaign from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, new numbers show the graphic ads seems be working. The Tips from Former Smokers campaign, which launched last March and ran until mid-June, featured roughly a dozen ex-smokers offering personal testimony on the devastating health consequences of their long-term tobacco use. Participants were featured in 30-second televised PSA's, radio commercials and web and print ads. "Everything that's happened to me has come from the fact that I smoked cigarettes," said campaign participant Terrie Hall, who developed throat cancer and had her larynx removed as a result of smoking. She now requires mechanical assistance to speak and breathes through an opening in her neck, which the videos frankly depicted. "That means that every day I have to put in my teeth, I have to put in a talking device in my neck, I have to wear a wig. That's how I get ready for my day." The national online portal smokefree.gov had roughly 120,000 visitors to its site from March-June in 2011, but that number increased to 630,000 people during the same time frame of the campaign. That's a 428 percent jump overall. The CDC's 1-800-QUIT-NOW information line had 158,000 callers from March-June 2011, which rose 132 percent during the same time frame this year with 365,000 callers. "[We wanted to give] a voice and a strong sense of humanity to people who have been the victims," said Dr. Tim McAfee, director of the CDC's Office on Smoking and Health. "Not helpless, pathetic victims, but people who want their stories told about what's been happening over the last 50 years, and who don't want to see this happen to anybody else."
Marijuana may be legal in Colorado and Washington now, but it will remain very much forbidden for pro baseball and football players. While the feds may well refrain from arresting pot smokers in the two states, a league official at MLB has made it clear that marijuana, unlike alcohol, will remain under the list of prohibited "drugs of abuse" in its current policy. Under this policy, testing positive for any of these drugs results in a 50-game suspension on the first offense. Several MLB players have been benched for a positive pot result in recent years including Tampa Bay Rays prospect Tim Beckham, who received the 50-game suspension last May. Tim Lincecum was also benched in 2009 after being arrested in Washington for marijuana, although the MLB technically didn't have the grounds to authorize the suspension because it was a civil matter and Lincecum had never tested positive for any illicit drugs. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello also reaffirmed pro football's stance on pot yesterday morning by stating that: "The NFL's policy is collectively bargained and will continue to apply in the same manner it has for decades. Marijuana remains prohibited under the NFL substance abuse program."
Kirstie Alley says the Church of Scientology saved her from an addiction to cocaine that almost killed her years ago. The former Cheers star reveals that her sometimes multi-day drug binges started a few years prior to her career as a Hollywood actress, when her marriage to Bob Alley began to crumble. "I thought I was going to overdose almost every time," she tells Entertainment Tonight. "I kept going for that feeling of being extroverted and that would last for sixty seconds. And then I was going to die for thirty minutes, and then the second I wasn't going to die I went 'boom,' I'd do it again." The 61-year-old is now sober and says her clean living was inspired by Scientology—particularly L. Ron Hubbard's book Dianetics. “I sat there with cocaine on this mirror and I was reading Dianetics and doing cocaine at the same time,” she recalls. "Somehow I got through it and I thought this is either the world's biggest scam or, I thought, this is how I'm going to get rid of this hideous compulsion.” Although the method seems to have worked for Alley, Scientology's rehab program, Narconon, has been under investigation in the past for its detox process—which some have claimed is even life-threatening. “When I was at Narconon, people were taken away in ambulances and had to spend days in the hospital,” said David Love, a client at Narconon Trois-Rivieres from December 2008 to May 2009, who was interviewed exclusively by The Fix. “People have died in the Quebec facility.”
- Canadians Want to Legalize Marijuana, Too [Washington Post]
- Brazil Credits Strong Tobacco Control Policies For Saving More Than 400,000 Lives [RedOrbit]
- Medical Marijuana Law Passes in Massachusetts [CBS News]
- Meth Heads Are Robbing People's Graves [Vice]
- Tommy Chong talks Obama, Internet and smoking with The Beatles [TBO]
- "Too Drunk To Be Guilty" Convict Sent to Prison [CBC News]
Voters in Washington and Colorado made history last night by voting for their states to become the first to regulate marijuana like alcohol. Washingtonians did so more decisively, as was predicted, passing I-502 with flying colors, with 55% for and 45% against. But Colorado's Amendment 64, which had faced a tighter battle, got through fairly comfortably too, with 53.3% for and 46.7% opposed. Now anyone over 21 will be entitled by those states' laws to possess an ounce of pot without fear of arrest—Coloradans will also be able grow up to six plants for personal use. Somewhat overshadowed by these groundbreaking results, Massachusetts also become the 18th state to permit medical marijuana, approving its own measure by a resounding 63-37% margin.
While many see these votes as cause for celebration, obstacles still lie ahead: “The voters have spoken and we have to respect their will,” said Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper last night. “This will be a complicated process, but we intend to follow through. That said, federal law still says marijuana is an illegal drug so don’t break out the Cheetos or Goldfish too quickly.” The US Justice Department has meanwhile released a curt statement, noting that federal marijuana laws “remain unchanged.” But decriminalization activists say they aren't fazed by the feds. After all, the Prohibition era—a parallel advocates often draw upon—saw the beginnings of its end at the state level; Montana stopped enforcing Prohibition seven years before the federal government did the same. And Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes asserts that the feds “have no plans, except to talk.”
Betty Aldworth, of Colorado's Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, thinks it's only logical that the federal government will leave pot smokers in Colorado and Washington alone. Coloradans in particular have little to fear, because if local police stop enforcing marijuana laws, no one else will either: “The DEA here in Colorado and officers of the federal government have said on multiple occasions that they have neither the time nor the resources to invest in pursuing individuals for marijuana,” she tells The Fix. And she expects the state's efforts to set up an adult marijuana retail system will also go unhindered. “The government has allowed Colorado to develop medical marijuana centers here,” she tells us. “And we anticipate the federal government will be interested in moving marijuana off the streets—the only way to do that is to move it behind the counter.”